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Captured Australian held on U.S. warship.

SYDNEY, Dec. 18 Kyodo

Alleged Australian Taliban fighter, David Hicks, is being held on a U.S. warship, Attorney General Daryl Williams said Tuesday.

Hicks, 26, from the South Australian state capital Adelaide, was captured by Northern Alliance troops in Afghanistan last week and transferred to the U.S. warship Monday morning.

Australian Associated Press has reported that American Taliban fighter John Walker is being held on the same ship -- the USS Peleliu.

The Australian government has formally sought permission from U.S. authorities for a joint Australian Federal Police and Australian Security Intelligence Organization investigation team to interview Hicks, Williams said.

''We can assure Australians that if Mr. Hicks has committed a crime against Australian law, the government will do whatever is necessary to bring him to justice,'' he said.

Williams also acknowledged media reports of a second Australian being captured in Afghanistan, but said the government had no information to verify the reports.

Defense Minister Alexander Downer said Australian authorities were continuing to seek information about the second man.

Downer said his office had been contacted by an Australian family concerned about a family member who was traveling in Afghanistan and had not been heard of for some time.

U.S. broadcaster National Public Radio quoted a Kandahar doctor Monday as saying an Australian had been left behind with other wounded soon after the Taliban stronghold fell on Dec. 7.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Date:Dec 24, 2001
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